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Planned Parenthood groups deliver 6,000 petitions to Gov. McMaster

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A group of protesters stood in support of Planned Parenthood Tuesday at the State House after Governor Henry McMaster issued an order last month asking that no state dollars be spent on medical facilities that provide abortion services.

Vickie Ringer, of Planned Parenthood, said it targets them directly. She said Planned Parenthood is the only provider in the state that offers abortion as an option. According to the organization, 4,000 patients in South Carolina used Planned Parenthood for life-saving and preventive care."1 in 5 women of reproductive age are Medicaid patients,” Ringer said. “This is not the right way to go and what we know is that this is a political stunt."

Nina Grey is a member of the group Women's Rights and Empowerment. She said it's a bad thing when services like these are cut. "People who should be able to have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should also be able to have the health care they need," Grey said. "Not providing funding for birth control makes no sense if you want to reduce abortions."

Protesters said people living in poverty would be affected most. Supporters hand-delivered petitions to the Governor, trying to send a message. In last month's order, the Governor made clear that abortion costs don't fit the state's economic development goals.

Michael Morrill with the group Progress South Carolina said so far 6,322 people have signed a petition. "None of this is necessary, and we all know that because no state or federal funds are being used for abortion now,” Morrill said. “This is all about politics, and I'd like to say shame on you, Governor McMaster."

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